The Adventures of Team EO - Grand Haven Offshore Prefishing
Written by Greg Houtteman   
Wednesday, 08 June 2005 04:31
The start of the Grand Haven Offshore was plagued with problems about half way down the lake from Ludington as our starboard engine began losing RPMs and we lost our prefishing opportunity on Memorial Day.

We were heading down early so we could get a spot at the Grand Haven Municipal Marina, but do to poor planning from the City more than half the docks had been torn out for replacement - only problem was, the replacement docks never appeared. So when we got down there at about 12:30 we were told that there were no spots left - as a matter of fact boats were doubled up in the docks as it was. Luckily we had a back up dock at Kennan's Marina on hold so we continued up to Spring Lake and docked in our old familar spot ... E-21 where we had spent more than a week in the early spring.

We had called MR Marine on the way in hoping that we might get a call back on TUesday early to diagnose and fix the problem we were having, but to our amazement Mark called us back on Memorial day and arrived at the dock first thing on Tuesday mroning. It was obvious to Mark we were having a fuel delivery problem, and indeed he was correct. He pulled our fuel filters both the Raycor and Twsit-on and they were completley full of junk. We had either gotten a horrible load of fuel from the bottom of someone's tank or the work we had paid for a Lakeside Marine had never been done. Either way we had the fuel system cleaned, we also had complete comprehensive tune-ups done on both engines (caps, rotors, spark plugs, oil change, carb adjustments, etc...). The sea trial went excellent and we thought we had our problem licked so our prefishing program began in earnest on Wednesday with Wingnut, Whaler, H2OHazard, Whaler's sister Sallie and her boyfriend Daniel, and myself.

Wednesday was a gorgeous one out on the Lake but our RPM problem still surfaced although only at the beginning of the run - once the boat pushed up on plan everything ran fine and away we went. We started Wednesday's program by trying to find some fish - we ran essentially straight out of the narbor and sat down in 140 FOW and started trolling on a NorthWest heading. We worked hard on wednesday and made lots of change trying to determine a pattern, we went 4 for 9 and landed a nice Skamania and a decent King out in 210 - 240 FOW. Unfortunately there was no pattern present - Lemon Ice on the half-core was the only thing to produce more than once. But we did notice a pattern to where we took the fish on Wednesday - trolling all over the lake we determined that all of our fish had been taken in the 200 - 240 FOW band and Thursday our plan was to run from our first fish mark along a intersecting line to our other fish marks working the desired depth.

Thursday WingNut, Salmonhead, H2OHazard, and myself headed out to set down on the depth line and start our troll, we got pushed around a bit by other traffic but we were able to put together some fish - not the necessary limit that would be needed for the tournament but we atleast felt as if we had a primary location for fish. Unfortunately, we still had no pattern as to desired baits so we continued working hard to get the right baits outs - Thursday was an overcast day, and Wednesday had been Sunny so nothing we did from day to day related to each other. So after cooking out there and working our butts off we decided to pull lines and run back ... oooppppssss ... forgot to pull the Ridgeback Rattler back in that we had been running without a rod and lost it somewhere on the run back, another donation to the Fish Gods. Luckily Saint had picked up some downrigger cable and we were able to respool the middle downrigger and get it back operational.

Friday we decided to try to put together a backup location so we ran to Muskegon and fished hard for the remaining pre-fishing time we had. WingNut, Salmonhead, Whaler, Sallie, Daniel, and myself sat down and worked our butts off to put fish in the box. Finally we had enough bites - not landed fish - but enough bites that we could have had a full tournament box. Again the productive water was in the 200 - 240 FOW along the same line from Grand Haven through Muskegon. Sallie landed a very nice 18# King on the half core and we kept 5 fish and shook off a couple of smaller ones bringing our total for the day to 7 or 8 for 15. We ran into Muskegon and filled up our tanks and headed back to Grand Haven for some pre-planning and clean-up for Touney Day #1.

More to come!!!

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